Talk about a crime shakedown. On Thursday, August 4, FBI agents as well as NYPD busted over 40 suspected members of the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, and Luchese throughout New York, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, according to authorities.
One time Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino— arrested at his summer home in Florida— is among the indicted. Merlino, 54, has a reputation for beating past murder charges. His longtime lawyer Ed Jacobs, declined to comment on the allegations on account that he hadn’t yet examined the indictment. Charges range from drug racketeering, loansharking, and health insurance fraud to extortion, running illegal gambling establishments, selling untaxed cigarettes, and leg-breaking. Authorities say they seized firearms, gambling paraphernalia, and over $30,000 in cash during the bust. According to authorities, the charges could earn each perp up to 20 years in prison.
“The indictment reads like an old-school Mafia novel, where extortion, illegal gambling, arson, and threats to ‘whack’ someone are carried out along with some modern day crimes such as credit card skimming,” said Diego Rodriguez, head of NYC’s FBI office.
According to the unsealed indictment many of the perps were associates and soldiers of the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, and Luchese crime families.
One charge accuses Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello a longtime member of the Genovese crime family in NYC of ordering a beatdown of a panhandler who was suspected of harassing female customers outside of his restaurant in the Bronx. Parrello told an associate to “break his knees.” The panhandler was “located and assaulted with glass jars, sharp objects, and steel tipped boots, causing bodily harm,” court documents say.
Following the incident one of his associates was recorded saying: “Remember the old days in the neighborhood when we used to play baseball?”….”A ball game like that was done,” court documents say.
According to additional papers, in 2013 Parrello ordered a beatdown of a man who stabbed a member of his team outside of a Bronx bar. “Keep the pipes handy and pipe him, pipe him over here (gesturing to his knees), not on his head,” court documents say.
Parrello, 72, was also incriminated in an healthcare fraud scheme with Merlino and others that enlisted crooked doctors to build insurers for unnecessary and excessive prescriptions for costly compound creams in exchange for kickbacks. Another indictment alleges that the defendants put aside past differences and combined to become “members of an organized criminal enterprise” known as “East Coast La Cosa Nostra (LCN) Enterprise.”
John Gotti, the grandson of deceased mob boss John Gotti Sr., was also indicted on Thursday. Gotti, 23, was arrested in New York by NYPD with several others on state drug charges for allegedly selling Oxycodone and other prescription pills. As of now, there is no evidence that Gotti’s indictment is connected with the massive mob bust.